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“Gay Marriage”

From Genesis to Revelation, by Way of the New Yorker

At the beginning of 1999 . . . my wife Cathleen Schine, announced that she no longer wanted to be married to me.  She had to leave, she had to get away for a new life, for she had mysteriously changed in her affections . . . I stood there like a rejected petitioner, chewing my innards but unwilling to fight.  “I have to go to sleep now.”  “But I want to talk.”  Talk was the center, we used to talk over everything, endlessly . . . For almost two decades, I had felt that no thought of mine was complete until I had conveyed it to her . . . We spoke every day, we were amiable and affectionate . . . I was in a rage, but I suppressed it.  Of what use was anger?  I was determined not to become one of those embittered men encountered at work, at a party—men a little too articulate about “women.”

Thus David Denby, movie critic at the New Yorker, describes his reaction to his novelist wife’s leaving him in his brand new and not-particularly-recommended-here book American Sucker.  What was it that had “mysteriously changed” in her affections?  At least one thing for sure: She was leaving him for a woman.  When we examine his response to her announcement, we can say that Mrs. Schine-Denby’s move may have come as a surprise...

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